I have a confession to make... I'm not very confident doing jobs for the first time.
If I have done something before then I'm happier than a pig in mud... but if it's something new then I really have to push myself to get started. My psychologist sister would give it a long Latin name but I call it 'Fear of the unknown'.
Luckily, judging by my email inbox, I'm not alone!
The current fear seems to be "I want to repair my split dash top but I'm scared of breaking something!". Luckily this is an easy one for me to help cure because there really is nothing to worry about... honest!
The GT6 and Spitfire Mk IV / 1500 dash top (also known as the crash pad) sits between the steering wheel and the windscreen. It contains an ashtray, two demisting vents and has no visible signs of attachment. It doesn't look possible to remove it from the car at all!
In fact you can take the complete dash top out simply by removing 10 small nuts!
The dash top sits on top of the bulkhead with the a vinyl flap behind the wooden fascia panels. The dash front panels are also attached to the bulkhead and do not need to be removed but loosening their fixings helps to withdraw the vinyl flap.
You can see that it is a completely separate component and is surprisingly strong - no worries about snapping a flimsy piece of foam!
There are three parts to the dash top:
1. Metal base plate - gives strength and has all the fixing points
2. Moulded foam core - gives the distinctive contours
3. PVC cover - hard, smooth grained and black
Things to note:
1. On the underside you can see six studs that hold the dash onto the bulkhead
2. At the base of each stud is some adhesive sealant
3. Two long demister slits with a narrow slot at each end for the fixings
4. Flap of vinyl that sits behind the dash fascia panels
A. Demister vents with integral fixing studs
B. Tonneau studs - held in place by the demister vents
C. Ashtray surround
1. Remove the parcel shelves so that you have clear access to both footwells.
2. Slacken the fixings on the dash fascia panels (the panels can remain in place)
3. Remove the ashtray and the surround by pulling it straight upwards
4. Undo the 4 outer fixing nuts by working from the footwells.
5. Undo the 2 inner fixing nuts by working through the ashtray.
6. Undo the 4 nuts holding the demister vents to the dash top - one at each end.
7. Work the dash top free by knocking it upwards. Remember the adhesive sealant at the base of each stud so expect a bit of resistance.
8. Pull the vinyl flap from behind the fascia as you remove the dash top.
That's it, you're finished!
You can now get on with fitting a new cover to your dash top in the comfort of your workshop / kitchen / front room. You might want to use one of my kits that contains a new vinyl panel and detailed instructions on how to achieve the perfect finish: Park Lane Classics Dash Top / Crash Pad Retrim Kit
If you're wanting to keep everything looking original then I would use my black smooth grain vinyl (ASF). But why not think beyond black... colour co-ordinated dash trim looks really smart and very luxurious!
I also produce retrim kits for the dash edging (Right Hand Drive) , dash edging (Left Hand Drive) and radio console so you can transform the whole look of your dash in just one weekend!
Owen Lloyd has spent well over a decade working in automotive trim and classic cars. He now runs Park Lane Classics dedicated to providing top quality interior trim at affordable prices.
Park Lane Classics - interior trim direct
Tel: +44 (0)1827 284 957
Mobile: 0781 392 5153 (UK Only)
47 Park Lane, Bonehill, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B78 3HZ. United Kingdom